Though his next novel, Best Served Cold is still just a glimmer in the eye of his fans (not being released for another few months), it looks like Joe just couldn’t resist the urge to drop some hints about the novel he will soon start writing, another stand alone set in the world of the First Law.

From his blog:

And, of course, planning for that all important NEXT BOOK. The strange life of the author, wherein I’m pondering the next book six months before most readers will get to read the last, such that by the time it comes out, I’m thoroughly buried in the next project where praise or criticism for the last are both equally burdensome. Oh yes (you can’t see, but I’m beating my chest), it is so terribly hard to be a maverick creative! Anyway, let it never be said that I keep you in the dark. The next (fifth) book will be a standalone not unlike Best Served Cold – that is taking place in the world of the First Law and featuring some minor characters from the trilogy in more central roles – but if you can think of Best Served Cold as Dark Fantasy meets Hard-Boiled Thriller, this book will be a kind of Dark Fantasy meets Hard-Edged War Story, and will be the thrilling tale of one great battle for control of the North, over the course of three days, from several points of view on both sides and at different levels of the action. Characters will include – a world weary crew of Named Men, a keen young lad desperate to become a hero and claim a name of his own, a Prince determined to regain his father’s lost throne by any means necessary, a girl who may or may not be able to talk to god, and a fencing champion dispatched to the North as the King of the Union’s observer. Naturally there’ll be blood on the snow, blood in the mist, blood in the rain, blood on standing stones, treachery, heroism, cowardice, and blood. Oh, and hilarious banter. And blood. Current, but very, very rough no-promises-made-please-don’t-hurt-me-if-I-miss-it projected publication date is October 2010.

A war story? Count me in.

I’m glad to see Joe taking the direction of writing standalones with minor connections to the other novels rather than extending the same story over several volumes. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how Joe handles the (relative) short length of a standalone after making his name with a lengthy trilogy.

  • J.Cormier January 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Reading trilogy after trilogy, series after series does indeed fatigue the reader. I like the idea of breaking things up with a stand-alone or two. Raymond Feist has been doing it for years. But Feist and others like him seem to do it more out of a disinclination to begin the process of world-building again rather than a real need to set new stories in the same universe. Hopefully Abercrombie will keep up what seems to be an enjoyable tendency to dabble — telling smaller stories of a larger world. I would hope that his stories continue to be fresh, and that the world of the First Law doesn’t just become a convenient setting.

  • edifanob January 13, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I really look forward to read Best Served Cold within this year.

    And it will be interesting to see how he manages a story in a stand-alone. That’s exciting.

  • Jeff C January 14, 2009 at 8:24 am

    This new novel sounds really cool. Cant wait for Best Served Cold, either.

  • Swift January 22, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Excellent, I have just read his first book and am eagerly awaiting the second in the post. Abercrombie has been one of those names i’d heard about, but waited for the right time to chance…

    And i’m glad I did. Excellent stuff.